The state government has finally slain a trio of decades-old "zombie" gas exploration licences in the North West region.
Petroleum exploration licences (PELs) 456, 452 and 6 were formally gazetted as refused by the state government on Friday.
The PELs covered territory around Murrurundi, Scone and east of Moree.
The licences had been granted to permit gas exploration in farmland in the North West decades ago, and had expired - but were known as "zombie" PELs because they were never fully quashed and could be brought back from the dead by a future government.
The state did just that earlier this month, resurrecting three PELs which cover more than half a million hectares of land near Gunnedah, Quirindi, and Narrabri.
Deputy premier Paul Toole said the PEL refusals were in line with the government's future of gas statement last year, a document which identified mapped no-go zones for gas.
"At the time we committed to reducing the areas covered by the PELs by 77 per-cent, and to support the Narrabri Gas Project," he said.
"And that is exactly what we are doing - we are honouring that commitment. This is a big win for many parts of regional NSW, creating certainty for landholders and industry alike.
"The so-called zombie PELs are no more."
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said the decision to can some PELs and rejuvinate others was "a ghoulish move".
"The decision to renew some CSG licences and not others appears to be arbitrary and is a slap in the face for farmers on the Liverpool Plains, who only recently drove off coal mining company Shenhua's project after a bitter decade-long battle," she said.
Mullaley landowner Margaret Fleck, who farms property covered by renewed PEL 12, said gas development would "jeopardise the viability of farming businesses" like hers.
"It's great for the folks who live in areas where tenements have been extinguished, but we on the Liverpool Plains can't help but feel we have been made a sacrifice zone, since the Perrottet Government has reinstated the CSG licences covering our properties," she said.
Liverpool Plains farmers kicked off a campaign against the renewed effort to explore the region for gas in community meetings last week.
PEL 427, which remains under assessment, covers areas west of Moree.
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